This Week in the Classroom: 3D Printed Pinhole Camera

Last spring, I had the opportunity to teach one of my dream units:  Light and Waves.  We completed three projects during this time: camera obsuras, cajon drums and a pinhole camera. This 3D-printed pinhole camera combines three centuries worth of … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: 3D Printed Pinhole Camera

This Week in the Classroom: The Camera Obscura

The camera obscura is a old, old project which illuminates the nature of light.  Students can discover some major scientific principles: light travels in straight lines, transparent surfaces allow light to travel through while translucent surfaces let some light through, the principles behind photography, scale, proportion and a whole host of other things.

cc wikipedia


Essentially, a camera obscura is a black box with a very small hole piercing one wall.  This hole allows a small amount of light to enter the box.


Now here’s where it gets funky.  We need to know two rules about light to understand what happens next.  First, light travels in a straight line.  Second, light reflects off all objects – it’s the reflected light which our eyes process into visual images.  So what happens if light is made to travel through a extremely small space?

An illustration of how a camera obscura works. cc wikipedia

Continue reading “This Week in the Classroom: The Camera Obscura”